14 Free GIS Software Solutions for 2023

How do companies tackle challenges that span across various regions and countries?. In navigating these complexities, countless organizations rely on geographical data points to drive decisions that significantly impact our daily lives. For efficient collection and analysis of this data, professionals often turn to geographic information system (GIS) software.. A GIS serves as computer software designed to capture, analyze, and interpret geographical data points. This tool seamlessly processes data related to positions on Earth’s surface, empowering professionals across diverse industries to optimize their operations.. While various free GIS software options are available, selecting the most suitable one can seem daunting. To simplify this process, we have compiled a list of the best free GIS software based on authentic reviews from verified users on G2.. What is the best free GIS software for 2023?. Google Earth Pro. Esri ArcGIS. Google Maps API. Autodesk Map 3D. BatchGeo. ArcGIS Navigator. Mapbox. Google Places. Google Beacon Plaftorm. Maptitude. Scribble Maps. MapInfo Pro. QGIS. Citymapper. Best free GIS software. With many free GIS tools available in the market today, evaluating your specific requirements, desired features, and cost is essential before deciding which one is right for you.. The list below contains real user reviews. In the context of this list, vendors that offer a free trial are also considered free.. To be included on this list, the GIS software must have at least one of the following features:. Store, organize, edit, and analyze geographical data. Include visualization capabilities to display geographical information. Either have GIS capability or utilize a GIS platform in its solution. Align and/or manipulate data from maps and sources. *This data was pulled fromG2in Fall 2023. Some reviews may have been edited for clarity.. 1. Google Earth Pro. Google Earth Pro, although not a full GIS tool, provides a free platform for visualizing, assessing, and creating geospatial data, with a user-friendly interface serving as an entry point for GIS exploration. Its global imagery database and 3D visualization capabilities enable basic spatial analysis for users of various expertise levels.. What users like best:. „Google Earth Pro’s high-resolution imagery facilitates precise site analysis, while seamless GIS data integration strengthens impact assessments. The 3D measurement feature ensures accurate quantification of potential effects. Its video creation tools and high-quality visuals streamline presentations. Within Environmental Impact Assessment reports, Google Earth Pro seamlessly combines advanced functionalities with user-friendly design, enhancing efficiency and optimizing outcomes.”. – Google Earth Pro Review, Monika N.. What users dislike:. Google Earth Pro necessitates a robust computer system with a fast processor, dedicated graphics card, and ample RAM for seamless performance, especially when handling large datasets or intricate 3D models.. – Google Earth Pro Review, Anuradha P.. 2. Esri ArcGIS. Esri ArcGIS offers a range of capabilities and flexible licensing choices, integrating location-based analytics seamlessly into business workflows. Its contextual tools for data visualization and analysis foster collaborative efforts, enabling a comprehensive approach to organizational strategies through customizable maps, applications, and dashboards.. What users like:. „Having used Esri ArcGIS extensively, both on the public (StoryMaps) and licensed sides, I found its operation no more complex than any other graphics platform once I grasped the basics. ArcGIS StoryMaps features a user-friendly interface, making it ideal for GIS beginners. However, it should not be mistaken for Esri ArcGIS, an industry-grade tool renowned for its robust data visualization through maps.”. – Esri ArcGIS Review, Jody T.. What users dislike:. „I believe the UI/UX could use some improvement. It can be challenging to recall the precise sequence of buttons and options required to complete a task. Enhancing the new user walk-through could potentially alleviate this issue.”. – Esri ArcGIS Review, Cindear Z.. 3. Google Maps API. Google Maps API offers developers a suite of tools leveraging Google’s real-world insights, allowing the creation of immersive applications through features like Maps, Routes, and Places, enabling the integration of real-time data for enhanced location-based experiences.. What users like:. „The Google Maps API grants access to extensive mapping data, including detailed maps, satellite imagery, and street view, while also providing developers with robust routing and directions capabilities for calculating optimal routes between locations.”. – Google Maps API Review, Surinda A.. What users dislike:. „I hope Google improves support for low-end phones. There is a need for better verification of places, as I’ve come across inaccuracies in locations and destinations.”. – Google Maps API Review, Rajiv K.. 4. AutoCAD Map 3D®. AutoCAD Map 3D® is specialized for mapping and infrastructure management, with direct data access and industry-specific models, supporting customization and integration for developers of all levels with its versatile programming language support.. What users like:. „The software facilitates seamless integration of GIS data through simple import and export functions, enabling its use within AutoCAD drawings. Furthermore, it supports complex data analysis capabilities.”. – Autodesk Map 3D Review, Shubham S.. What users dislike:. „The learning curve is steep for those unfamiliar with Autodesk, making it less suitable for beginners or novices.”. – Autodesk Map 3D Review, Bharat K.. 5. BatchGeo. BatchGeo is a web-based tool facilitating quick map generation by easily plotting data points onto maps through data integration with Google Maps, simplifying the mapping process for users through automated translation of provided data formats.. What users like:. „BatchGeo’s user-friendly interface makes it incredibly easy to use. Importing a spreadsheet of names and addresses is seamless, and the quick generation of maps enhances the overall experience. The intuitive design further contributes to its appeal.”. – BatchGeo Review, Derrek S.. What users dislike:. „Some reporting features are limited when it comes to in-depth analysis of batch geo-coded addresses. Expanding this functionality would enable a more comprehensive understanding of our data.”. – BatchGeo Review, Drew N.. 6. ArcGIS Navigator. ArcGIS Navigator is a mobile navigation application for field-based operations, offering a range of global maps and custom map options for efficient asset location and route planning, leveraging GIS technology for enhanced functionality.. What users like:. „This software is incredibly powerful, providing tools for virtually every conceivable task related to geographical data. It enables the creation of smart maps and the management of objects with any desired geographical location and attributes in the background.”. – ArcGIS Navigator Review, Ankit H.. What users dislike:. „I suggest incorporating more language options within the software. While the available tutorials and instructions facilitate easy usage, improvements in language settings would be beneficial.”. – ArcGIS Navigator Review, Juliana P.. 7. Mapbox. Mapbox creates tailored online maps for various applications, offering a comprehensive range of APIs and SDKs to develop personalized maps for web, mobile, automotive, and augmented reality applications, catering to diverse user needs and preferences.. What users like:. „My recent experience with Mapbox left me thoroughly impressed with its capabilities. The platform’s flexibility, offering various customization options, enabled me to create project-specific maps effortlessly. The availability of pre-built map styles facilitated the quick creation of professional-looking maps. Its user-friendly interface streamlined navigation through tools and options. Overall, I highly recommend Mapbox as a compelling and versatile map framework for developers and designers.”. – Mapbox Review, Thibault L.. What users dislike:. „Mapbox’s pricing structure could benefit from improvement, despite its generous free tier and flexible plans. The scalability costs may raise concerns for users, especially businesses with substantial mapping requirements.”. – Mapbox Review, Mayur J.. 8. Google Places. Google Places showcases local business listings in search results, enhancing local visibility through detailed information and maps, serving as a valuable tool for businesses targeting specific locations and local customer bases.. What users like:. „Google Places provides comprehensive business information such as operation hours, contacts, reviews, and photos, facilitating convenient trip planning. User-generated reviews offer valuable insights into a place’s reputation, aiding in decision-making. The seamless integration with Google Maps for directions and live traffic updates further enhances its usability.”. – Google Places Review, Nusrat N.. What users dislike:. „Based on my experience with the Google Places API, it’s essential to note a few drawbacks and limitations. Inaccuracies in location data can pose challenges for users relying on precise information. Moreover, the pricing structure might restrict businesses with high location-based query demands. While the API provides valuable insights into customer sentiment, it might not offer a comprehensive view of customer behavior. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand these constraints before heavily relying on the Google Places API.”. – Google Places Review, Cassio B.. 9. Google Beacon Plaftorm. Google Beacon uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology to deliver tailored messages to nearby smartphones, enabling businesses to engage customers through targeted marketing, promotions, and event announcements, effectively bridging the digital and physical realms.. What users like:. „Enables beacon deployers to seamlessly integrate various features. While outcomes may differ based on application, the platform’s expansive capabilities facilitate streamlined integration of creativity and innovation.”. – Google Beacon Plaftorm Review, Chris B.. What users dislike:. „Requires users to enable location services for gathering geographical information.”. – Google Beacon Platform Review, Ryan R.. 10. Maptitude. Maptitude GIS and mapping software gives you the tools, maps, and data you need to analyze and understand how geography affects you and your organization. Maptitude is the most capable, least expensive, full-featured mapping software available.. With Maptitude you can create maps and map images from spreadsheets and you can see external data on the map from a variety of sources including Google Maps KML/KMZ files. Designed for data visualization and geographic analysis, Maptitude comes with a comprehensive library of maps and GIS data for your country.. What users like:. „Maptitude is my top choice for data analysis and visualization. Its seamless data import and export options from various platforms such as Google Earth, OpenStreetMap, Esri Shape, MapInfo, GPS, AutoCAD, Excel, and Text, among others. Over my 13 years of use. I heavily rely on it for drive time analysis and optimizing delivery routes, reducing costs, and providing precise instructions to drivers.”. – Maptitude Review, Sheldon Neil C.. What users dislike:. „Be prepared for a learning curve; acquiring all the necessary data might take some time. Familiarizing oneself with the layers and processes is essential, yet the helpful staff is always available to provide guidance. Additionally, there are numerous YouTube tutorials that can aid in the learning process.”. – Maptitude Review, Babir S.. 11. Scribble Maps. Scribble Maps is an intuitive online GIS platform facilitating data management, route optimization, annotation, collaboration, and interactive map creation for diverse sectors, empowering users to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions across industries.. What users like:. „Scribble Maps stands out for its impressive array of map styles, offering users access to standard, satellite, and topographical maps. This versatility caters to diverse needs, whether it’s planning a memorable road trip or optimizing delivery routes for businesses.”. – Scribble Maps Review, Manish K.. What users dislike:. „Scribble Maps provides a comprehensive range of features, which may require some time and effort to fully grasp. For those unfamiliar with mapping software, the initial learning curve might pose a challenge in getting started.”. – Scribble Maps Review, Andrew W.. 12. MapInfo Pro. MapInfo Pro simplifies the tasks of capturing, managing, and visualizing location data, enabling users to uncover patterns and trends efficiently, with a user-friendly interface and robust functionalities for comprehensive spatial analysis and visualization.. What users like:. „This plotting and mapping tool holds substantial appeal for Telecommunications engineers. I have relied on this tool since 2007, and it has consistently delivered without fail. Its rapid processing capabilities allow for efficient plotting, processing, and display of diverse maps, offering a spectrum of thematic options to vividly showcase sites and data in various formats.”. – MapInfo Pro Review, Adnan A.. What users dislike:. „MapBasic possesses significant power, and its capacity for automation is a primary reason why my team relies on it. However, the MapBasic component within MapInfo is progressively slowing down and encountering issues, creating more challenges than providing solutions. Urgent modernization is required to ensure its continued relevance and efficiency.”. – MapInfo Pro Review, Jonathan D.. 13. QGIS. QGIS is a versatile and free cross-platform GIS application for viewing, editing, and analyzing geospatial data, continuously developed by a global community, making it a popular choice for mapping and geographic analysis across various fields.. What users like:. „One of the standout features of QGIS is its status as an open-source GIS platform. Familiarity with its plugin system can make it a convenient and cost-effective alternative to pricier options like ArcGIS. Installation is hassle-free without the need for licensing, and it serves as a standalone software, eliminating the requirement to manage different components as is the case with ArcGIS, such as ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcToolbox.”. – QGIS Review, Md Mehmud S.. What users dislike:. „Occasionally, the application crashes when using more than three plugins, and there have been instances where directory files failed to save, resulting in software crashes. Additionally, it can be challenging at times to manage the software due to its dependency on the C drive path.”. – QGIS Review, Aishwarya S.. 14. Citymapper. Citymapper provides comprehensive transportation options and real-time updates for urban travel, integrating data for various modes of transportation to enhance users’ travel experience and decision-making process.. What users like:. „In my view, the standout feature is the application’s seamless integration with various platforms like Uber for convenient car rides, as well as its compatibility with different city-specific apps. Moreover, it offers a comprehensive map of the area, ensuring even the finest details are easily accessible.”. – Citymapper Review, Raghav K.. What users dislike:. „CityMapper’s subscription service includes features such as the 'Fewest Transfers’ function, which aims to optimize travel routes with minimal transit changes. The app typically prioritizes the shortest distance, but the subscription adds a voice-guided navigation option. Users have the flexibility to utilize Google Maps or other alternatives. However, the current version does not support the direct purchase of local transport tickets for specific cities, potentially limiting some user preferences.”. – Citymapper Review, Ankit J.. You can 'map’ it happen!. Some software options offer limited capabilities for free accounts. If you’re hoping to use one of these GIS solutions long-term, it’s best to explore what each paid offering includes as well. Don’t be afraid to test out a few free accounts across multiple GIS platforms before making a decision.. Go beyond simple mapping. Learn more about spatial analysis and its benefits. 

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